IceCaps Weekend Preview
IceCaps clash with Southern Ontario rivals
The St. John’s IceCaps head out on a mini two-game road trip this weekend as they visit the Hamilton Bulldogs and Toronto Marlies Friday and Sunday, respectively.
The road has been a kind place to the IceCaps so far this season. The club has won four straight away from home and is 6-0-2-0 overall, outscoring its opponents 30-19 in the eight games.
Friday night St. John’s will tangle with Hamilton at Copps Coliseum. The IceCaps and Bulldogs have met twice this season – a two game series at Mile One Centre in St. John’s – with each team coming away victorious. The Bulldogs spoiled the IceCaps home opener back on Oct. 14 with a 4-0 win, with goaltender Nathan Lawson stopping 40 shots for the shutout. St. John’s exacted a measure of revenge the following night with a dominating 6-2 win, its first on home ice. Carl Klingberg, recently recalled by the Winnipeg Jets, recorded the first hat-trick in team history in the win.
The Bulldogs enter Friday’s matchup losers of five straight games and find themselves dead last in the North Division with a 6-11-1-1 record (14 points). Hamilton was outscored 15-6 on its recent three-game road trip and lost second-leading scorer Louis LeBlanc after he was recalled by NHL affiliate Montreal on Tuesday. Like the IceCaps, the Bulldogs have been forced to deal with a revolving door of players due to injuries and sub-par performances by its parent club.
Sunday afternoon, the IceCaps hop on the 403 and head to Toronto for a rematch with the Marlies at Ricoh Coliseum. The IceCaps are coming off a disappointing end to their six-game homestand, having dropped a pair of contests versus the Marlies at Mile One Centre last weekend. Friday, Jeff Finger scored the game-winner with 29 seconds remaining in overtime to give Toronto the 4-3 victory. Saturday’s game was close for the first period and a half, but the Marlies pulled away in the second en route to a 6-3 win.
The Marlies’ Nazem Kadri was recently named Reebok/AHL Player of the Month for November. In 12 games, Kadri notched six goals and 11 assists for 17 points, including a four-point effort in last Friday’s victory over the IceCaps. After a slow start to the season, Kadri has now tallied five goals and seven points in his last three games.
For St. John’s, the loss of Klingberg to the Jets is yet another in a long line of call-ups to the big club. Seven members of the IceCaps have been recalled at some point this season, leaving the team short-handed at times. Despite the roster-shuffling, St. John’s remains in first place in the Atlantic Division and even after losing three-of-four overall still lead the Eastern Conference with a 12-4-4-0 record (28 points).
Catch all the action with play-by-play broadcaster Brian Rogers at www.stjohnsicecaps.com or on 930 AM This Is Newfoundland Labrador. Friday’s game begins at 9:00 p.m. with Sunday’s tilt scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (all times Newfoundland). Pregame show begins a half hour before puck drop.